Young Vinnies get started on saving the world early
Those adults who say children are less polite, thoughtful and caring these days have clearly not met the Young Vinnies.
Once a week 28 year 6 children at Tawa’s St Francis Xavier School give up their lunch hour to serve the community, whether visiting rest home residents, sending cards to neighbours in times of need, or making toy boxes for Arohata Prison’s family room.
The group is called Young Vinnies, and is an offshoot of Catholic organisation the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Their current project is to set up a stand at this Thursday’s craft market, where they will sell a range of sweet treats, as well as Christmas gift tags, canvas pictures and plastic bag holders.
While other stalls at the market will be fundraising for an upgrade to the school’s play area and school hall, the Vinnies’ earnings will go to a relief project in Sri Lanka.
Young Vinnie Sean Tighe has limited knowledge of Sri Lanka – ‘‘They like cricket’’ – but all the Vinnies understand people there are less fortunate than Kiwis.
‘‘We can have as much food as we want in New Zealand,’’ Matthew Toseland says.
The kids say the Young Vinnies is all about meeting and helping the community.
‘‘If they’re blind and they can’t read, you can read to them,’’ Matthew says.
St Vincent de Paul youth coordinator Dorothy Jansen hopes the Young Vinnies will continue to help less fortunate people when they are adults.
‘‘It’s planting a seed with these children that they can be helpful.’’
Service to the community is becoming an old-fashioned concept, Mrs Jansen says.
‘‘These days life’s so fast and we want to care, but we find we don’t have the time.’’
St Francis Xavier School Craft Market, Thursday 7 till 9pm, $2 entry includes a wine or juice.
Crafty kids: St Francis Xavier School’s Young Vinnies eye up fudge they will be selling at Thursday’s fundraising craft night. From left, Charlotte Davies, Shraya Vigneswararaj, Sean Tighe, Matthew Toseland.